Walgreen 3Q profit climbs 30 percent

June 21, 2011 - 6:59 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — Walgreen Co., the biggest drugstore chain in the U.S., says its profit grew 30 percent in the fiscal third quarter.

But it also says it has also been unable to agree on a new contract with a major pharmacy benefits manager, Express Scripts, and plans to leave the Express Scripts' provider network starting Jan. 1.

In 2010, Walgreen said it would leave CVS Caremark Corp.'s network. The companies later resolved their differences

Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreen says its net income rose to $603 million, or 65 cents per share, during the three months ended May 31. That's up from $463 million, or 47 cents a share, a year ago when its results were weighed down by unusual items.

FactSet says analysts expected earnings of 62 cents per share.

Walgreen shares fell $1.68, or 3.7 percent, to $43.50 in pre-market trading..